87°F
weather icon Clear

Police to start off-road program, patrols

The Boulder City Police Department is implementing an off-highway vehicle program to provide effective coverage for the desert areas around town.

According to Boulder City Police Chief Tim Shea, this program will focus on educating and informing the public on where the safe areas are as well as providing the ability to patrol.

He and the police department have been working on the program for more than a year and a half, and starting it was recently made possible through a $45,000 grant from the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

“In short, we have some very good plans,” he said. “With this initial grant I believe we have a method for initiating the start of those plans — plans that I hope will facilitate a continuing active partnership with a number of agencies, to include the state, that will permit us to keep the program active and successful.”

Those plans include having training and informational rodeos, vehicle inspections and registration events, as well as providing signage about the nonrestricted areas in the desert, handouts and web-based information.

“This in an effort to provide a format that will assist folks in knowing what is allowed, appropriate, when and where,” Shea said. “This should result in less conflict with residents, less harmful impacts to the environment, safer riders and safer vehicles.”

He said that enforcement would be a last resort and only used for those who need “legal encouragement.”

The police department will not have to hire new officers for the OHV program; rather it will provide overtime hours for current officers and augment those with some reserves. The funds to pay the overtime will come from the grant, and the reserves are volunteer. The grant also will help pay for an off-highway vehicle.

City Council approved accepting the money from the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources at its meeting March 13.

“Receiving the grant support is one facet of the program,” Shea said. “It provides the ‘kick-start’ to begin the process of equipping and training our personnel. That leads to deploying them on a rather regular basis to several venues and events all designed to reach our goal(s).”

According to city documents, the total cost of this project is $193,651 with Boulder City’s share at $148,651, and the state picking up $45,000 through the grant.

At the council meeting, City Councilman Kiernan McManus said that riding in the desert can be a lot of fun, but it can also cause some to be unkind to their neighbors.

“This sounds like a great opportunity. … It’s great we’re getting the opportunity to show people where they can have fun,” he said.

Councilwoman Peggy Leavitt also agreed the grant is a good opportunity for the city.

Shea estimates it will take the department through the end of the year to get the program up and running.

“Some facets will take a little longer as we develop our folks and determine just what we can do relative to our plans and available resources,” he said. “In addition, we may find that some ordinances are out-of-date and need to be updated to facilitate providing the ability for folks to utilize their OHV recreationally, while also meeting the expectations of our residents living along the open area borders.”

He also plans to partner with National Park Service rangers from Lake Mead National Recreation Area and the Bureau of Land Management as well as other local entities.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Residents encouraged to prepare for monsoon season

Monsoon season began Saturday,, June 15, and even though no patterns have been sighted in Boulder City, municipal staffers are still encouraging residents to be prepared.

Presidential candidate inspires Democrats

Inspiring and a breath of fresh air are how those listening to a presidential candidate at a recent Boulder City Democratic Club meeting described her presentation.

Election results certified

The results of Boulder City’s municipal election are official.

News Brief, June 20

BC, Henderson plan joint chamber mixer June 27

Incumbents ousted; McManus elected mayor

Boulder City voters ushered in a new era of leadership by electing Kiernan McManus as mayor of the town over incumbent Rod Woodbury.

Adams, Bridges to join council

City Council will have several new faces as residents voted in James Howard Adams and Claudia Bridges to its two open seats over incumbents Peggy Leavitt and Rich Shuman during Tuesday’s municipal election.

City gets OK to refinance existing debt

In Tuesday’s election, Boulder City residents showed they wanted City Council to be able to save money by refinancing debt but decided not to move forward with funding a proposed new aquatic center or allowing off-highway vehicles on city streets.

Habitat for tortoises enlarged

Desert tortoises in the Eldorado Valley will have a larger area to play in and live as the City Council approved an agreement with Clark County on Monday for a new boundary to the Boulder City Conservation Easement.